Released on 17 March 2020 Archived Press Release
Stratford-on-Avon District Council remains operational during the on-going COVID-19 outbreak.
However from today, Tuesday 24 March, main reception at the District Council offices will be closed until further notice to protect our customers and staff.
Services are still available online at www.stratford.gov.uk and by calling 01789 267575.
Please be patient with us as we adjust to different ways of responding to your service requests.
Thank you for your help and understanding at this time.
In addition the following District Council services have been postponed or are closed temporarily:
All other District Council services remain operational at this time, although this will be kept under review.
Service updates posted when changes made.
Disposal of waste
Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.
These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.
Annual Council Tax and Business Rates Bill update
All legal and any other enforcement action to recover unpaid council tax or business rates has been suspended. No legal summonses will be issued, all scheduled court hearings will be cancelled and there will be no further contact by or action taken by enforcement agencies until further notice.
The collection of direct debits and other payment plans and options remain in place as normal as council tax and business rates must still be paid.
The District Council does not have the legal power to suspend Council Tax or Business Rates. We are still legally required to issue annual Council Tax Bills at this point, but we do understand that the timing of receiving a Council Tax bill now, may cause further concern to those in immediate financial difficulties.
Despite announcements by central Government, the usual regulations under which we have to operate remain in place. As and when they change, we will act as quickly as we are allowed. Following the announcement from Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, that additional business rate relief and grants will be made available to small businesses and those in the worst-affected sectors of retail, leisure and hospitality, which affect this District particularly badly, we stand ready to get this money to local businesses as soon as we can. The Government has advised local Councils that they can expect the funding for this hardship grant in early April and we expect more guidance on the distribution of this money later.
Help with Council Tax
We already operate the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme which is available to all residents and, depending on their household, personal and financial circumstances, they can qualify for 80% off their Council Tax Bill if they are working age or 100% if they are of pension age. It is means tested so amounts differ from claim to claim. For more information and an on-line claim form, please visit the Council Tax Reduction Scheme information on the website.
Other events cancelled include:
David Buckland, Chief Executive of Stratford-on-Avon District Council says: "We understand that residents may have concerns about the coronavirus. We would like to reassure them that the Government and the NHS are continually reviewing the measures to deal with this virus and we urge residents to follow their guidance, particularly around hygiene and hand-washing.
"The District Council is in very regular contact with its public sector partners and we have been reviewing our own business continuity arrangements and communication plans in the light of the evolving national and regional picture.
"Nevertheless, I would like to reassure residents and local businesses in the district that we are open for business and we will continue to provide a front-line service to our residents both face-to-face and via the contact centre. We are extremely mindful of the valuable public services that we provide to all of our residents and businesses and we will continue to monitor the situation closely
"However, following Government advice and guidance a number of services are being postponed or cancelled for the time being and something that we are keeping under review as the situation continues to develop."
Get the latest information and advice from Central Government, Public Health England and the NHS:
Stay at home guidance
Stay at home guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection:
Key advice for returning travellers
Information for returning travellers has been updated to include a number of new countries, with specific advice depending on the area/towns in the countries that you have been to/through:
Guidance for British people travelling and living overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575